Tuesday 14 May 2013

Review: UK Decay - 'New Hope For The Dead'

'New Hope For The Dead' 

UK Decay originally crawled out of the Luton post-punk scene back in 1979 and arguably coined the term "Goth" to refer to the embryonic scene forming around bands such as themselves, Siouxsie And The Banshees, and Bauhaus et al. Thirty years after their last outing before their unceremonious demise, 'Rising From The Dread', the band have returned in style with 'New Hope For The Dead'.

You could outright accuse UK Decay of being nothing more than a nostalgia trip for a select few people who stubbornly long for the early 80s scene. But what would that achieve? The truth is the post-punk sound that UK Decay pioneered is constantly being reinvented by wave-after-wave of hip, young dark bands. And as so many classic bands have reformed in recent years, who is to say there is a time limit between albums?

With this in mind, UK Decay have returned in style. Their punk attitude is intact and the quality of the song-writing is everything hardened fans will have hoped fore. The witty, social commentary of the lyrics is brought to life by Abbo's distinctive vocal style. While the album is driven by a powerful rhythm section comprising of the solid drumming of Raymondo, and a groovy bass performance from Ed Branch which acts as the perfect counterpoint to Steve Spon's searing guitar work.

Songs like 'Shake 'Em Up (Holy Ghost)', 'Heavy Metal Jews', 'The City Is A Cage', Revolutionary Love Song' and 'I Feel Good' highlight just what the post-punk scene has been missing out on for the past thirty years and why so many bands since have highlighted UK Decay as an influence. The band's varied approach to their song-writing has created a rich and compelling album that can be funky, furious and sarcastic in equal measures.

In terms of production the band have quite rightly opted for a slicker and more modern approach. The temptation would be to try and recapture that early rawness, but thankfully they don't. The band have painstakingly crafted a canon of quality songs, and have quite rightly given them a sound that can stand up against the new generation.

UK Decay may not have been around in a while. But they are certainly no exercise in nostalgic, middle-aged folly. Thirty years on from their original run they may be, but there is no denying that UK Decay have created, in 'New Hope For The Dead', an album which is both contemporary and relevant.   

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